Abbott named Golfer & Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (May 10, 2018) – Several members of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) champion Western New England University men's golf team were recognized when the CCC announced its major award winners and All-Conference selections on Thursday afternoon.
Leading the way was senior John Abbott (Higganum, Conn.), who was named both the CCC Golfer of the Year and Senior Scholar-Athlete. Head Coach Bill Downes earned CCC Coach of the Year honors, while freshman Ryan Zogby (New Hartford, N.Y.) collected Rookie of the Year accolades. Additionally, seniors Mike Metcalf (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Joe Ciolek (South Hadley, Mass.) earned spots on the All-CCC first team.
Abbott garners Golfer of the Year accolades after leading the Golden Bears to their fourth CCC title this spring. He posted a team-best 73.72 stroke average while medaling at both the CCC Fall Qualifier in early October and the CCC Championship in late April. Abbott also paced the 99-player field at the Johnson & Wales Wildcat Spring Invitational with a two-day score of 146, and he placed in the top-10 in ten of Western New England's 11 tournaments this season with eight top-five showings.
A Communication-Media Theory & Production major with a 3.89 grade point average, Abbott has also excelled in the classroom. He was named a GCAA Scholar All-American last season, and is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Student-Athlete Honor Society, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society. Abbott is also active on campus as the assistant station manager for Golden Bear TV, and he won first place at the WNE Student Media Festival.
Downes earns CCC Coach of the Year honors in his 31st and final season at the helm of the WNE men's golf program. He coached the Golden Bears to another successful season with top-three finishes in nine of Western New England's 11 tournaments. In the conference championship, the Golden Bears posted two sub-300 scores and finished with a 20-stroke advantage over second place Endicott College.
Zogby made an immediate impact in his first collegiate campaign en route to Rookie of the Year recognition. The New Hartford, N.Y. native has a 78.7 stroke average through 11 tournament and 18 rounds. He finished ninth at the Rich Korzec Invitational and eighth at the CCC Championship to go with a first-place effort (75) at the Westfield State Spring Invitational.
Ciolek and Metcalf have also been key contributors for the Golden Bears all season. Both golfers played in all 11 tournaments for the Golden Bears, posting scoring averages of 76.4 and 76.8, respectively.
Ciolek placed second at the Duke Nelson Invitational with a two-round score of 142 (72+70), fourth at the CCC Fall Qualifier (75), and second at the CCC Championship (145). His opening round 69 at the CCC Championship led the 20-player field.
Metcalf turned in seven sub-75 rounds during his senior campaign, two of which came at the Duke Nelson Invitational, when he finished 12th in the 113-player field (74+71). Metcalf also placed 11th of 94 golfers at the Williams Fall Invitational (78+71), and third at the CCC Championship with a two-day score of 146 (73+73).
Western New England will make its third appearance at the NCAA Division III Championship next week at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.